Bupa to defer premium increases for customers on JobKeeper and JobSeeker support
Bupa has announced it will defer the premium increase scheduled for 1 October for a further six months for any customers on the Federal Government’s COVID-19 JobKeeper and JobSeeker support packages.
This announcement builds on the existing six-month deferral of the April premium increase that was delayed for all Bupa customers as part of measures to help customers cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time Bupa has dedicated $184m to providing financial assistance through premium deferrals, premium waivers, premium discounts and other initiatives.
Bupa Health Insurance Managing Director, Emily Amos, said the decision to defer the increase for customers on the Government’s COVID-19 support packages was made to take the pressure off customers worrying about financial hardship.
“This year has been an incredibly challenging one as Australia deals with the effects of COVID-19. Everyone’s doing it tough and we simply want to help our customers as much as we can,” Ms Amos said.
“The last thing someone who has lost their job or had their wages cut during this time needs is a price rise. That’s why Bupa will defer the premium increase for six months for any customers eligible for JobKeeper or JobSeeker.
“For the 36,000 Bupa customers that have already received financial hardship relief, they won’t need to do anything to make this happen. We will automatically apply the delay to their policy. Other customers on JobKeeper or JobSeeker can contact us to apply for the deferral.
“Other customers not on these government support programs are also able to apply for other forms of financial hardship assistance, including a possible three months premium suspension.
“At this time, the health of our community is more important than ever, and Bupa wants our customers to have more ways to be able to get more out of their health insurance”. Ms Amos said.
Customers on JobSeeker or JobKeeper who have not previously received financial assistance from Bupa can apply for the premium deferral at bupa.com.au/COVID19assist
For customers not experiencing financial hardship, the deferred April premium increase will be applied on October 1. This will cover rising healthcare costs so Bupa can continue to offer the best possible products and services to all customers.
How else has Bupa helped?
To support our customers’ health and financial wellbeing through the COVID-19 pandemic, Bupa has already:
- Dedicated $50m to providing hardship relief for customers’ suffering financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic with relief mechanisms consisting of premium waivers, premium discounts, policy suspensions and unemployment cover depending on customers individual circumstances.
- Delayed the April 1 premium increases for six months, saving customers around $134m.
- Made sure ALL customers with hospital policies are covered for lung and chest conditions, including those arising from COVID-19 related claims, irrespective of the terms of that policy.
- Expanded cover to include claims for psychology, speech pathology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and dietetic services delivered through telehealth (phone or Internet)
- Provided additional mental health support services
- Donated $1.375m via the Bupa Health Foundation to grow two Kids Helpline programs that will provide young people with access to free, quality mental health support, when they need it most.
- Expanded cover to include rebates on many health aids and medical appliances purchased online to provide added flexibility at a time where many people are practising social distancing.
- Provided customers with access to Australia’s leading home fitness and nutrition program, 28 by Sam Wood, for three months at no cost.
- Given access to a dedicated COVID-19 assistance and advice helpline.
Media reference number: 20/085